Man Booker winners face off in Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards Shortlists

Two literary giants find themselves in the running for the Fiction (with a sense of place) Book of the Year in shortlists for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards announced today. The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel, author of 2002 Man Booker winner Life of Pi, is joined on the shortlist by The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes, who claimed the same prize in 2011 for The Sense of an Ending. They are joined on the shortlist by novels by authors Jessie Burton, Eowyn Ivey, Robert Seethaler and Madeleine Thien, with locations including Alaska, Austria, China, Portugal, Spain and the former USSR.

Lyn Hughes, co-founder of Wanderlust magazine and chair of judges for the category, said: “Setting is a vital aspect of any novel; writers are granted all flights of fancy when it comes to character or plot, but if they are unable to transport the reader to their chosen locale, to bring the sights, sounds and smells of their characters’ surroundings to life, they will have failed. Our shortlisted writers have succeeded brilliantly, creating vividly portrayed backdrops around the world and across the centuries.”

Setting is also key, alongside blood, sweat and tears, in the shortlist for the Adventure Travel Book of the Year. Cycling exploits feature heavily: in Mark Beaumont’s Africa Solo, which tells of his record-breaking ride across Africa; Zimbabwean adventurer Sean Conway’s Cycling the Earth; and Dare to Do, Sarah Outen’s account of how she single-handedly circled the globe by bicycle, canoe and boat. Levison Wood and Dan Richards take us high into the mountains in Walking the Himalayas and Climbing Days respectively, while Crossing the Congo is an account of Mike Martin, Chloe Baker and Charlie Hatch-Barnwell’s epic 2,500-mile African journey. Phoebe Smith, Wanderlust editor and chair of judges for the category, said: “This shortlist is a tribute to the human spirit of endeavour and adventure, containing not just thrills and spills but inspiration on every page.”

Recipes from around the world, including Iran, Pakistan and Ibiza, feature in the Food and Travel Book of the Year shortlist, while folk tales, language and wildlife feature heavily in the Children’s Travel Book of the Year category. Islands and countries that no longer exist (if they ever did), maps from over 400 years past and photography from some of the world’s most stunning locations can be found on the shortlist for the Illustrated Travel Book of the Year. Finally, maps are at the core of the majority of the Innovation in Travel Publishing Award shortlist.

Tony Maher, Managing Director of Edward Stanford Limited, said: “As the world grows smaller and in many cases more dangerous, travel writing in all its forms keeps us in touch with our global family. These disparate shortlists have one unifying feature – they are all marvellous examples of what travel writing and publishing does best, which is to show the reader a world far from our own doorsteps, made reachable by these glorious, powerful and unforgettable books.”

The shortlists in full are as follows (alphabetically by author/creator):

Specsavers Fiction (with a sense of place)The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes (Jonathan Cape) • The Muse by Jessie Burton (Picador) • To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey (Tinder) • The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel (Canongate) • The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler, trans. by Charlotte Collins (Picador) • Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien (Granta)

Wanderlust Adventure Travel Book of the YearAfrica Solo by Mark Beaumont (Bantam Press) • Cycling the Earth by Sean Conway (Ebury) • Crossing the Congo: Over Land and Water in a Hard Place by Mike Martin, Chloe Baker and Charlie Hatch-Barnwell (C. Hurst & Co) • Dare to Do: Taking on the Planet by Bike and Boat by Sarah Outen (Nicholas Brealey) • Climbing Days by Dan Richards (Faber & Faber) • Walking the Himalayas: An Adventure of Survival and Endurance by Levison Wood (Hodder & Stoughton)

National Book Tokens Children’s Travel Book of the YearAtlas of Oddities by Clive Gifford & Tracy Worrall (Red Shed) • Atlas of Animal Adventures by Lucy Letherland, Rachel Williams and Emily Hawkins (Wide Eyed Editions) • Hello World: A Celebration of Languages and Curiosities by Jonathan Litton and L’Atelier Cartographik (360 Degrees) • A River by Marc Martin (Templar) • A Year Full of Stories: 52 Folk Tales and Legends from Around the World by Angela McAllister and Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books) • A Walk on the Wild Side by Louis Thomas (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)

Food and Travel magazine Food and Travel Book of the YearPersepolis: Vegetarian Recipes from Peckham, Persia and Beyond by Sally Butcher (Pavilion) • The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen by Yasmin Khan (Bloomsbury) • Provence to Pondicherry: Recipes from France and Faraway by Tessa Kiros (Quadrille) • Eivissa: The Ibiza Cookbook by Anne Sijmonsbergen (HarperCollins) • Rick Stein’s Long Weekends by Rick Stein (BBC Books) • Summers Under the Tamarind Tree: Recipes and Memories from Pakistan by Sumayya Usmani (Frances Lincoln)

Destinations Show Illustrated Travel Book of the YearExplorer’s Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery and Adventure by Huw Lewis-Jones and Kari Herbert (Thames and Hudson) • The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World (Lonely Planet) • An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist by Nick Middleton (Macmillan) • This Land: Landscape Wonders of Britain by Roly Smith and Joe Cornish (Frances Lincoln) • Britain’s Tudor Maps: County by County by John Speed (Batsford) • The Un-Discovered Islands: An Archipelago of Myths, Mysteries, Phantoms and Fates by Malachy Tallack and Katie Scott (Polygon)

London Book Fair Innovation in Travel PublishingWhere the Animals Go: Tracking Wildlife with Technology in 50 Maps and Graphics by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti (Particular Books) • Citix60 series by Victionary (Gingko Press) • Curiocity: In Pursuit of London by Henry Eliot and Matt Lloyd-Rose (Particular Books) • Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton (Workman) • Blue Crow Media Maps (Blue Crow Media) • Lonely Planet Best of series (Lonely Planet)

The awards will be judged by expert panels, there is also a public vote open now, which will be combined with the panel votes. All voters will be entered into a draw to win £100 of National Book Tokens.

The shortlist for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year, in association with the Authors’ Club, will be announced on 17th January at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards launch party at the National Liberal Club. The winners of all categories, as well as the Lonely Planet Travel Blog of the Year and Bradt Travel Guides New Travel Writer of the Year, and the Edward Stanford Award for Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing, will be revealed on 2nd February during the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival at Destinations: The Holiday and Travel Show at Olympia. The awards will be supported by a trade-wide travel books instore promotion at booksellers and libraries from 6th January until 24th February.

The Winner of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the year receives £5,000 and all winners receive an antique globe trophy, to be presented at the Awards ceremony.

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